EA Certification Study Guide Part 2: Dashboard Design

The notes for this portion of the study guide are light because this part of the exam is mostly going to be scenario based questions around best practices. I recommend focusing on the Salesforce provided materials to make sure you understand the design standards that Salesforce suggests.

Source: Einstein Analytics Tech Lounge, 4/4/2019


  1. Trailhead Badges
    -*Analytics App Design
    -Quick Start: Einstein Analytics
    -Analytics Basics
    -Analytics Dashboard Building Basics
    -Analytics App Basics
    -Analytics App Template Development
  2. Learning Map
    -Build Interaction Dashboards Video Series
  3. Documentation in Exam Guide
    -Analytics Lookbook
    -*Best Practices for Building Your Own Analytics Dashboard
  4. Einstein Analytics Training Videos
    -Video 5 and 6: Designing Dashboards
    -Video 14: Analytics Apps
  5. External Resources
    -3 Ways to Go Above and Beyond with Analytics
    -Einstein Analytics vs. Operational Reporting — What’s the Difference?
    -Einstein Analytics: Design & Interaction Principles
    -Collection of articles on dashboard design (read through a couple that look interesting to you)

*If you are short on time, focus on these.


As always, I recommend you read/watch each of the sources and take your own notes. My summaries below are not inclusive of what will appear on the exam.

  • Make these decisions before building apps
    — Determine the app’s audience and purpose
    — Think through the app’s structure: what content are you going to show and how to organize it into a logical flow?
    — Choose the correct surface elements: signals/aesthetic choices/visual elements
  • How Salesforce suggests you gather requirements
    — Gather 4–8 stakeholders in a 60–90 min session and start by establishing the purpose of the dashboard: who is going to view it, what do they need
    — Have each participant sketch out one or more ideas for the dashboard then present to the group
    — As a group, discuss and sort the sketches then prioritize them based on relevance to the original dashboard purpose
    — Use the top ideas to start building out your dashboard — always sketch out a build plan before starting

Designing the Dashboard

  • Design principles
    — Clarity: eliminate ambiguity from your dashboard
    — Efficiency: Streamline and optimize workflows
    — Consistency: Use the same names and similar graphic elements for similar data points
    — Beauty: Fluid experiences that feel natural
  • “Deep” Design Thinking
    — Surface level: Colors, fonts, graphics, etc.
    — Structure: Scope, layout, flow or the dashboard
    — Purpose: What is the user’s intentions and goals when using the dashboard
  • Structuring an App’s Content — Choose a focus
    — Priority: Some common dashboard formats are an F, Z, or side-by-side pattern. Suggestion of top left to bottom right in most cases
    — Logic: Take users through a logical flow
    — Level of granularity: Start with high-level details before getting specific
    — Similarity: Group like elements together
  • Design Best Practices
    — Place high level, actionable widgets near the top left
    — Group filters together at the top or left
    — Develop in a way that invites users to continually drill down
    — Choose chart types for function, not variety
    — Don’t clutter the dashboard, leave some empty space

Einstein Best Practices

  • Process for developing apps in Einstein
    — Start by loading data into datasets and ensure it is in a format that works well
    — Create a series of lenses and explorations
    — Save sets of these explorations into dashboards
    — Save sets of dashboards into an app
  • Building in Einstein
    — Use charts to visualize your data quickly and provide summaries and tables for a close up, detailed view
    — Utilize pages to allow users to digest content in chunks and create dynamic pathways through the dashboard
    — Embed the dashboards where the users work throughout Salesforce: home screen, Account page, Case details, etc.
    — Always optimize your dashboards for mobile
    — Make sure you turn on the action framework where possible
    — Use containers and colors to guide the user through the visuals
    — Make dashboards and layouts consistent
  • Use pre-built templates from Salesforce inside Einstein to speed up development.
    — Dashboard templates: Pre-built dashboard layouts to help with a quicker design. Simply place your lenses into the provided chart and table widgets. “Smart” templates provided will take you through a wizard to fill out the dashboard
    — App templates: Series of lenses and dashboards that are generated after going through a wizard inside Einstein.
  • How to iterate on a pre-built App template:
    — Install with the basic settings first and investigate what it does
    — Reinstall (“reconfigure” in the app details) it with custom settings
    — Get feedback from users and customize more on your team’s needs
    — Add and change functionality over time
  • Salesforce provide many different types of out-of-the-box templates for example: Sales, Service, Financial, Event Monitoring, Analytics Adoption etc.
    — Can also pre-package and build your own templated apps to distribute to customers

Next: Einstein Discovery



You can find me at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelseypshannon/ or https://twitter.com/kelseypshannon

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